This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1 you’ll be introduced to the basics of mathematics and statistics.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study modules covering economics, statistical analysis and mathematical methods.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll further advance your knowledge of statistics and economics and conclude your degree with a mathematics module chosen from a range of options.
Before you register it is essential to check that you have the mathematical skills to study at this level. See Entry requirements for a quiz to help determine your mathematical level.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
Mathematics is a linear subject – it is important to have a good understanding of the basics before moving on to more advanced topics. You’ll begin with an introduction to key mathematical ideas, ideal if you’re not confident with algebra and trigonometry; if you haven’t previously studied mathematics to an advanced level; or if you haven’t studied mathematics for some time and need to refresh your skills.
We recommend that you study Stage 1 over two years as it provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stages 2 and 3.
At Stage 2, you’ll study three compulsory modules in which you’ll explore contemporary economics issues and theories, apply statistical concepts to a variety of situations; and find out how real-world problems are transformed into mathematical models. You’ll use specialised software to solve more difficult problems and to investigate case studies.
Your study of statistics continues as you work on real problems and data using statistical software. You’ll also learn about the economic theories and techniques used to explain the behaviour of people in different contexts before carrying out a small project.
For your final module, you’ll choose from options covering advanced mathematical ideas, skills and methods in mathematics.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20 March 2019.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
- some modules may require you to use specialist software
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, but it is very important that you are well prepared to study mathematics at this level.
Before you register for this qualification, it is essential to check that you have the appropriate mathematical skills.
Take a look at our Maths Help study resources to brush up your mathematical skills in preparation for our Are you ready? quiz.
If you can answer most of the questions, or could do them with a quick reminder (because the topic is familiar to you but you can’t quite remember the details), then you are ready.
If you achieved a very high score, our intensive start route may be an option for you. First complete our intensive start Are you ready? quiz to check if you have the necessary experience and confidence with mathematics.
If you would like more advice and guidance about where to start, please visit our MathsChoices website.
How much time do I need?
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Preparing for study with an Access module
If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
- a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:
People, work and society Access module
Science, technology and maths Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
On completion of this degree course you’ll be able to construct economic, statistical and mathematical arguments with appropriate and critical use of concepts, theories, models and evidence. You’ll also learn to use modern mathematical and statistical software, and how to carry out a research project using appropriate research methods. These skills are all in great demand in the workplace, and many are highly transferable and applicable to a variety of situations – whether you’re already working, volunteering or changing career.
Opportunities can be found across all sectors and in a number of occupations. Education, central and local government, finance, health and social care, law, the media, public services, campaigning and research are popular career choices.
Other careers include:
- journalism and broadcasting
- social work
- business management
- advertising and marketing.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers will require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree:
- chartered accountant
- social worker
- advertising account manager
- risk analyst
- public administrator
- research scientist
- corporate investment banker.